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Some people believe the coronavirus is the result of a bioweapon lab experiment that got out of control? What do you think?

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Nope.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

excuse me, it,s the result of Chinese eating rats, snakes, bats, cats, dogs and God knows what else ...

7 ( +13 / -6 )

It is indeed very possible. There are reports of that nature and were aired early in the crisis but quickly surpresed. There are Chinese military facilities for Bio Warefare in that region and could have escaped. i am very sure it was not released on purpose. Not even the dictatorial leadership of modern China which resembles the ancient empire more and more would do such a thing to their own people I hope.

There are so many questions about this virus, not just the numbers of those infected and dead, but also about its origin.

As many have pointed out, the BL4 lab in Wuhan is not far from the market the virus is supposed to have originated from. This lab probably had a leak of a bioweapon. There are serious questions about the research labs in China and the security of the viruses they are studying.

Recently two researchers at Harvard: the head of the Chemistry Department, Charles Leiber, and a Chinese national, Zaosong Zheng, doing research in pathology at Harvard's lab at Beth Deaconess Medical Center were arrested for possible espionage ties to China. Zheng was arrested for trying to smuggle biological research items out of a Boston lab and into China, aboard a commercial flight.

The kind of genetic research Zheng was doing can be used for medical and vaccine purposes but also for bioweapons research. It seems clear that China was actively trying to bribe U.S. researchers, and to infiltrate their labs to steal research that could be very dangerous if not handled properly.

It is worth asking questions about the level of security and safety of Wuhan's BL4 lab, the viruses there and all of Chinas labs, especially when one of the top Chinese research scientists is trying to smuggle biological matter into China for testing in his lab, by hiding it in his socks.

If we are not investigating the origins of the virus and these espionage incidents, then more pandemics will follow.

-6 ( +6 / -12 )

I agree 100% with CrisGerSan.

I'm not saying that it is a bioweapon; just that it is possible

-5 ( +4 / -9 )

I second CrisGerSan, that's the same stuff I've read about the virus. If I can add to that, I've read that the very first person who manifested the coronavirus hardly went near the markets where the exotic meats were sold, suggesting that the source could've been somewhere or something else.

-1 ( +8 / -9 )

Who knows? Who cares? The end result is the same. Sick people.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

not enough intelligence to do so.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Ridiculous.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Nah. Keeping exotic animals with various diseases together in close proximity to people, though? Yep.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Well it did knock the Hong Kong protestors off the front page.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Ridiculous. And dangerous. Surprised JT would openly ask its readers to stoke the flames of conspiracy.

4 ( +10 / -6 )

Surprised JT would openly ask its readers to stoke the flames of conspiracy.

Maybe, but to dismiss it out of hand is to be incredibly naive. Do you really think the Chinese government is not researching bioweapons?

2 ( +5 / -3 )

I think there's a lot of misinformation out there.

I can't say what caused it, am not a scientist. But I'd tend to listen to the experts any time over the conspiracy theorists and trash talkers.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

As Toasted Heretic said, people can believe whatever they want, the aliens infected the bats in the market or whatever.

There have been several publications in peer-reviewed top journals about the probable origins of the virus; I will go with the specialists' opinion. Unfortunately, the rational, scientific approach is less appealing to internet wariors than sensationalist theories...

8 ( +9 / -1 )

The potential for epidemics to emerge from China has been a topic for decades. As well as the last two coronavirus epidemics, there have been outbreaks of avian flu, including H5N1 (1998 and later) and H7N9 (2013 and later). Those two viruses had very high human fatality rates but were limited because they were only transmitted only from poultry to humans. H7N9 was a particular concern to epidemiologists. The problem is (and always is) that that they could mutate, with pigs acting as an additional reservoir of disease or virus mutation, and China is an ideal environment for that because of population, diet centred around pork and chicken, and the vast amount of human contact with poultry - also pigs, but to a lesser extent. Live poultry in urban markets, slaughtered on site, is still a feature of life, even in somewhat more restrictive Hong Kong.

Under these conditions, outbreaks are not just possible, but over the long run, inevitable.

None of this needs a conspiracy theory. People walking about in poultry muck and blood in China's markets is quite enough to get disease into the population, and to continue brewing up new ones. From there, they go out to the world. The risk could be reduced, but they don't seem to want to bother. That being the case, it's a shame market-killed chicken meat doesn't actually taste noticeably better than other chicken.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

My normal reaction is there are always conspiracy theorists.

In this case the known efforts of the Chinese military/state to subvert and steal biological research (along with any other they can get their hands on), the proximity of a known Bio weapons research facility and the epicenter of the outbreak are at least interesting, and should not be dismissed out of hand without proof, any more than it should be blindly accepted without proof.

Yep, it's definitely the aliens, what else could it possibly be!

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Well it is China that is being spoken of so one has to ponder all possibilities.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Irresponsible to say in a medical crisis, where people are afraid, that "some people believe" when polling. You should have said "Conspiracy theorists believe," but then you would be guilty of spreading conspiracy theory. Actually, you are guilty of that. Japantoday is being irresponsible, unlike a reputable media outlet. Yes, anything's possible, but that doesn't justify spreading conspiracy theory in a medical crisis.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

That being the case, it's a shame market-killed chicken meat doesn't actually taste noticeably better than other chicken.

When and where did you have market-killed chicken meat?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

When and where did you have market-killed chicken meat?

I've spent time in China, Taiwan, and Hong. I've shopped and eaten in wet markets in all three places. Often, that shopping and eating involved chicken.

If you wish, I can provide more detail to answer your where question (it won't be fascinating, so spare yourself), or if you don't know what happens at Chinese markets, I can explain the link between buying chicken at a market and eating market-killed chicken.

If we were to revisit my original comment, I can clarify it a little by saying that, in the Chinese context, we needn't focus obsessively on the word "market". The important point is that live chickens are held near where they will be sold/eaten, often right in the middle of the city, and slaughtered on site (rather than bumped off at a slaughterhouse miles away and distributed by truck). There's a belief that the first way ensures fresher, more flavourful meat.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

If you wish, I can provide more detail to answer your where question (it won't be fascinating, so spare yourself), or if you don't know what happens at Chinese markets, I can explain the link between buying chicken at a market and eating market-killed chicken.

Yeah please do

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Yeah please do

The link is very simple. You go to a market and there are stalls with caged chickens. There is chicken meat set out on display. That comes from chickens that were very recently alive in the cages, and taken out, killed at the stall, and processed for sale. It's fresh meat. You can buy chicken this way in Hong Kong and China; Taiwan recently phased out market slaughter.

Cooked food stalls and restaurants in and near those markets often use fresh-killed chicken. Shoppers who buy it know it's killed on-site too; with caged birds, you can't not know.

Places that have it still in Hong Kong: most of the major markets in Hong Kong island and Kowloon. Wanchai, Central, Bowrington Road, Sheung Wan, North Point, Sham Shui Po, wherever you like. There's been talk of ending it in Hong Kong for centralized slaughter. Hasn't happened yet.

As to where I've eaten it: Hong Kong obviously enough, Guangzhou, Taipei, and probably most of the cities I've visited in China or Taiwan in the last 25 years. Anyone non-local who appreciates Chinese food and eats around a bit has done the same.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The link is very simple. You go to a market and there are stalls with caged chickens. There is chicken meat set out on display. That comes from chickens that were very recently alive in the cages, and taken out, killed at the stall, and processed for sale. It's fresh meat. You can buy chicken this way in Hong Kong and China; Taiwan recently phased out market slaughter.

Thanks for that info. Its very similar to many places in the mideast. But I think they too have phased this practice out. Thanks again for that info.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

But I think they too have phased this practice out. 

We'll see if Hong Kong does after this latest mess. They've had multiple outbreaks since 1998 and have talked of banning live chickens at markets. Maybe this is finally what it takes to actually do it.

Despite a lot of talk and some good intentions, HK certainly isn't the cleanest place in the world, and the way food is processed and handled is pretty cavalier. A bit of muck and colour is all very well, but sometimes they take the piss.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Despite a lot of talk and some good intentions, HK certainly isn't the cleanest place in the world, and the way food is processed and handled is pretty cavalier. A bit of muck and colour is all very well, but sometimes they take the piss.

That's what a british friend of mine said when he went to do a martial arts conference there. He said it was actually abismal. I was shocked. Always had the opposite impression of Hong Kong .

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Perfectly valid question to ask people's thoughts. The possibility of leaked bio-weapon material is in my top ten theories list, but there are other theories higher up at the moment.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Having done some further reading on this, the idea has moved up into my top five theories. The science is pretty deep, though, testing the limits of my feeble brain.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

I think that it could be or could not be, and while we are in the middle of the situation, the question is one better left aside, rather than building hysteria.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

There is the BL4 lab in Wuhan and when the virus outbreak became public a very senior army official was put in charge of the lab.

People’s Liberation Army’s top expert in biological warfare, a Maj. Gen. Chen Wei, was dispatched to Wuhan at the end of January to help with the effort to contain the outbreak.

When I originally posted this on a JR post about the virus, the comment was deleted for being off topic?

But the lab is not used for developing bio weapons.

"The facility, known as the Wuhan National Biosafety Laboratory, is housed within the Chinese Academy of Sciences and was specifically designed to help Chinese scientists "prepare for and respond to future infectious disease outbreaks," according to a 2019 report published by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)."

Without direct evidence we can only speculate.

Eating diseased bats is more likely which is another comment that was deleted. Wild meat, and bush meats produce health problems.

"And then there is this little-known fact: Some Chinese researchers are in the habit of selling their laboratory animals to street vendors after they have finished experimenting on them."

So a lot of finger pointing to the Wuhan lab?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I have read recent scientific research that points either way, to both yes and no. It is hard to make up your mind without a background in genetic engineering, especially when scientists themselves take opposing positions.

This is why I keep a mental list of possibilities, and continue reading. Thanks zichi for the other information.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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